Step-by-Step Guide: How to Switch Monitor 1 and 2 in Windows 11

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As technology progresses, so do our workspace arrangements. One such advancement in the modern tech-driven era is the use of multiple monitors. This article discusses in detail what it means to ‘swap’ or ‘switch’ Monitor 1 and 2, why someone might need to do it in Windows 11, and how to successfully make the switch. Having more than one display connected to your computer is now commonplace, providing more visual real estate for productivity or gaming. But setting up and managing multiple monitors can sometimes be tricky, and knowing how to switch Monitor 1 and 2 in Windows 11 could come in handy.

There may be instances when you decide to rearrange your workspace physically, and you might want your primary monitor to be on the left rather than the right, or vice versa. Or maybe, a software application opens on monitor 2 by default, but you’d prefer it to open on Monitor 1. In these cases, understanding how to switch Monitor 1 and 2 becomes quite important, enabling you to customize your workstation optimally and according to your liking.

Understanding Monitors in Windows 11

Modern versions of Windows, including Windows 11, allows you to connect multiple monitors to your computer. It automatically identifies and labels these monitors as Monitor 1, 2, and so on, based on how they are connected. Usually, the primary monitor is identified as Monitor 1 and the second one as Monitor 2.

Using more than one monitor comes with a whole host of benefits. It gives you more screen space to work with, allowing you to multitask efficiently if you are a professional. For gamers, it gives an immersive experience. Understandably, how you use and switch between these monitors can significantly affect your productivity or experience.

Step by step guide to switch monitors in Windows 11

Preparing for the Switch

Before you switch monitors, it’s essential to have your computer or laptop running on Windows 11 and the necessary cables to connect your displays.

To identify which monitor is 1 and which is 2, Right-click on an empty spot on your desktop and choose Display Settings. You’ll see a diagram representing your monitor layout. Each monitor is represented with a number in the middle.

Executing the switch

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to switch your monitors:

1. Press the Windows Key + I simultaneously to open the settings.
2. Navigate to System and then select Display.
3. Under Rearrange your display, you’ll see rectangles representing your monitors.
4. Click and drag the monitor labels in the diagram to match your physical monitor setup.
5. Make sure to click Apply to save changes.

If you encounter any problems during the process, like one monitor not being detected, ensure your cables are connected properly, and restart your system.

Potential issues and how to navigate them

Although the process is straightforward, you might come across complications like non-responsive screens, error messages, or lost data. These issues usually occur due to faulty hardware connections or software glitches.

Resolution varies depending on the problem. For non-responsive screens or errors, check your connections, adjust your display settings, or update your graphics driver. For lost data, try to restore it from a backup, if available.

Benefits of Switching Monitor 1 and 2 in Windows 11

Switching your monitor arrangement in Windows 11 can offer a more tailored and ergonomic work or entertainment experience. Individuals may wish to switch their primary monitor based on personal preferences or the specifics of the software they use.

For instance, graphic designers might have a higher resolution monitor that they want to use as their primary display for designing tasks, while using a secondary display for reference material or communication tools. In this case, understanding how to switch main displays allows for a more efficient, comfortable, and productive workflow.


Switching Monitor 1 and 2 in Windows 11 is a relatively simple process that can make a significant difference in your work or gaming experience. Try out this method yourself to see just how beneficial it can be. And remember, the more comfortable you are with Windows’ multi-monitor setup specifics, the better you can adapt to your own needs and preferences.


Question: Can I switch monitors 1 and 2 in Windows 11 without installing any third-party software?

Yes, Windows 11 has a built-in feature in its settings that allows you to switch monitors easily.

Question: Why would I need to switch Monitor 1 and 2 in Windows 11?

You might need to switch monitors depending on your personal preference or work requirements, for instance, if you need an application to open on a different monitor by default or if you’ve rearranged your desk and monitors.

Question: What to do if one of my monitors is not being detected by Windows 11?

Check your cable connections and try restarting your system. If the problem persists, your graphics driver might need an update.

Question: How do I know which monitor is 1 and which is 2?

Right-click on your desktop and select Display Settings. You’ll see a diagram with numbered rectangles representing your monitors.

Question: Can I customize the display settings for each monitor separately after switching them?

Absolutely! Windows 11 allows you to adjust the resolution and orientation for each monitor in the Display settings.